Gen Z, The Corona Diaries: I Won't Take Socialising for Granted

By Francesca, 15, London, UK

I live in London but due to the Coronavirus I am currently in the Isle of Wight. The Isle of Wight is a small island of the south of England and it is less crowded than London so hopefully it is slightly safer.

The Coronavirus has largely dominated the media and news for a while now. Whenever I turn on the news or the radio there is always someone reiterating the government’s advice or speaking to distressed listeners, trying to find some certainty in the ambivalence. I myself am not majorly distressed about the virus, but I do think that it has something to do with privilege. I am luckily enough to have been able to escape London, to not be a key worker or someone risking their life for others. I get to sit at home thinking: oh what a great time to finally binge watch the rest of Gilmore Girls. But I know so many are not that lucky, and despite feeling reasonably safe I still get that heart sinking feeling each time I hear about the total number of deaths or yet again another business that might never open again. I think the thing that worries me the most is thinking about the impact this has on daily life. I miss how things were only a few weeks ago when we could all go out freely and we weren’t all armed with hand sanitizer and brushing past a stranger wasn’t as socially unacceptable as trying to kill someone. I’ve heard about lots of crises in history text books but I’ve never lived through one that affects me so personally. That thought scares me.

I like to think that this time will help build character. It is period where I have time to think. That will impact me further. It will impact how grateful I am for the ability to leave my house. I will never again take socialising for granted! It has taught me about begin strong and getting on with life. It has also provided me with perspective. My daily struggles aren’t in any way as bad as a world wide pandemic.

Social media has been a saviour during this isolation. Apps such as Houseparty and Zoom enable me to be in isolation but still have dance parties with my friends. I think that this constant ability to connect with others will impact Gen Z (or Gen C as we are starting to be called). We will all remember this out of the ordinary time when it was a crime to hug one another. But we will also remember how despite being socially distant we still spoke to one another daily and how much of a necessity contact was. I think it will also impact the way we live our lives. I hope we won’t forever be as germophobic as everyone is now, but there will certainly be a further understanding of bacteria I am sure. The world will be affected economically but I also think it will suffer emotionally. We are all living through an extraordinary time and that won’t be forgotten quickly. Everyone will treasure friends and family even more as a result I hope.

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